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New heads for National Museum, Cultural Heritage Administration

Choe Kwang-shik, the current director-general of the National Museum of Korea, has been designated as the new administrator of the Cultural Heritage Administration, replacing Yi Kun-moo, who was removed from the position Tuesday.
Choe Kwang-shik, new administrator of the Cultural Heritage Administration. (Yonhap News)
Choe Kwang-shik, new administrator of the Cultural Heritage Administration. (Yonhap News)

Choe, who holds a Ph.D. in history from Korea University, had served as the president of Society for Korean Ancient History and director of Korea University Museum before being appointed as the director-general of the National Museum of Korea in 2008.

Yi Kun-moo, who served as head of the Cultural Heritage administration starting March 2008, received a formal letter asking for his resignation Monday. He officially resigned Tuesday.

The cultural administration under Yi’s leadership had received high volumes of criticism over the newly-restored Gwanghwamun gate, which was unveiled on Aug. 15 of last year, Korea’s Liberation Day.

About three months after the unveiling ceremony, the name plate showed visible cracks on its surface.

The gate’s restoration process was originally slated to be completed by the end of last year. Some civic organizations and politicians accused the government of rushing the restoration process of the royal gate in order to unveil it on Liberation Day, which marked the 65th anniversary of Korea’s liberation from Japanese colonial rule.

The new director-general of the National Museum of Korea, Professor Kim Young-na ― who currently teaches Seoul National University’s archaeology and art history program ― has been tapped. 
Kim Young-na, new director-general of the National Museum of Korea. (Yonhap News)
Kim Young-na, new director-general of the National Museum of Korea. (Yonhap News)

Holding a Ph.D. in art history from Ohio State University, Kim had served as the president of Association of Korean Modern and Contemporary Art History and director of Museum of Art, Seoul National University.

By Claire Lee (clairelee@heraldcorp.com)
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